7 Major Benefits of Hibiscus Tea
Last time you ordered some hibiscus tea from your nearby café, you probably just though you were getting a delicious drink.
But what if I told you that hibiscus tea was actually packed with major benefits that can make a positive impact on your health?
I am not only talking about small perks like improved skin and hair (though hibiscus can do that too…), I am talking about help for serious conditions like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and urinary tract infections.
Here are 7 ways hibiscus tea boosts your health. I am going to introduce you to a handful of different scientific studies that show your tasty tea is also a health-boosting tea.
1. Manage Diabetes
Many people may not realize that one side effect of diabetes is bad cholesterol.
Diabetics can have lowered “good” cholesterol and increased “bad” cholesterol. Hibiscus may be a helpful antidote to this issue.
One study looked at 60 patients with diabetes. They were split into two groups: the hibiscus tea group and the black tea group. Each had to drink their tea twice a day for a whole month.
The researchers took blood samples before the study began and after the month of tea drinking. At the end of the study, the hibiscus group increased their good cholesterol significantly, and their total level of cholesterol declined.
2. Lowers Cholesterol
Before we completely get off the topic of cholesterol, I want to make sure you see how hibiscus is not just improving cholesterol among diabetics, but for everyone.
Researchers already knew hibiscus was a powerful tool for healthy cholesterol, but they wanted to see just how impactful the hibiscus really was.
The study participants had cholesterol levels from 175 to 327 (normal to very high). Everyone was randomly split into three groups of people.
- Group one took 1 hibiscus extract pill
- Group two took 2 hibiscus extract pills
- Group three took three hibiscus extract pills
This happened daily for four weeks.
By week 2, all groups had lowered cholesterol levels. Then by week 4, they were all lowered even more. Ultimately, group two with the 2 pills had the best success.
3. Banish Urinary Tract Infections
E. coli is the bacteria responsible for many urinary tract infections. This means doctors then give the UTI sufferer a round (or more) of antibiotics to kill the infection. But too many antibiotics can actually lead to resistance – exactly what somebody with recurrent UTIs does not want – as well as massive gut issues.
Those who are dealing with chronic UTIs often have a candida issue. Once again, the hibiscus proves to be an effective antifungal to fight of the candida as well.
4. Lower Blood Pressure
Here is yet another serious issue that hibiscus can help combat: high blood pressure.
65 adults (between 30 and 70 years old) were all considered to be either pre-hypertensive or mildly hypertensive. None of them were taking medications to lower their blood pressure yet.
These subjects were either given brewed hibiscus tea daily for 6 weeks or a placebo drink.
At the end of the study, the hibiscus tea lowered the systolic blood pressure, and it also slightly improved the arterial pressure. Interestingly, those with higher blood pressure at the beginning of the study showed the most improvement.
Keep in mind the study included 3 cups of the hibiscus tea each day. A few sips here and there will not have the same impact.
5. Shed Extra Pounds
I am about to talk to you about how hibiscus can help you lose weight, and I want you to consider this not just from the feeling good/looking good standpoint, but also from the idea that too much weight can cause really severe issues like fatty liver disease.
One study looked at these two issues simultaneously.
All the study subjects had a BMI greater than or equal to 27. They were between the ages of 18 and 65. Over 12 weeks, the control group was given a placebo and the hibiscus group received a hibiscus extract pill.
Not only did the hibiscus group lose weight, drop BMI, decrease body fat, and improve their waist-to-hip ratio, they also showed improvements in their livers. The added bonus was nobody had any negative side effects from the study.
Remember: if you try to drink lots of hibiscus tea to lose weight, but you choose to add sugar (or buy a pre-bottled kind with any sweetener), you will be defeating the purpose. Plain hibiscus tea is delicious without any sugar.
Keep Reading: How Regular Exercise Can Prevent Kidney Stones
6. Fight Oxidative Stress
We may have heard the phrase “oxidative stress” thrown around as something we do not want to have… but how many of us actually know it what it is?
It is simple. Oxidative stress occurs when there are too many free radicals in the body and not enough antioxidants to combat them.
This issue can lead to all sorts of health problems including:
- Heart disorders
- Kidney disease
- Chronic fatigue
- Autoimmune diseases
- And much, much more
I am sure you get the picture – oxidative stress is not a good thing.
An early study performed on rats has shown great results from hibiscus, which helped protect the rats from cytotoxicity and genotoxcity. This means hibiscus’s antioxidant abilities could benefit you in an extraordinary amount of ways.
7. Prevent Kidney Stones
Kidney stones from when there are too many stone-forming substances (like calcium oxalate) in the urine. Hibiscus may help this issue.
A 2012 study looked at hibiscus as a way to inhibit calcium oxalate crystals from turning into a kidney stone. While this study was done on rats and not humans, the hibiscus “significantly lowered the deposition of stone-forming constituents in the kidneys.”
And it worked without any toxic side effects.
This is a very positive solution for those who suffer from painful kidney stones.
Making Your Own Hibiscus Tea
Hibiscus tea can be found at most health food or grocery stores. Make sure you are choosing a brand that is not simply flavoring the tea to taste like hibiscus, but is actually selling you crushed hibiscus leaves.
You can also make your own hibiscus tea from home if you have access to the beautiful flower. Here is a quick DIY video to show you how:
Hibiscus Tea Or Extract?
Now that you have seen what hibiscus can do you for your health (which is quite a bit), let’s take a minute to talk about the tea verses the extract.
You may not want to drink multiple glasses of hibiscus tea every single day to help with these issues. It may be easier for people to reap the benefits from hibiscus extract.
Either way, this flower can make a positive impact on your health.